Monday, September 19, 2011

The testing of your faith

If I asked you to mention the one thing that brings pure joy in your life, what would you answer? Playing with the dog? Having the grand kids over? Winning the lottery? A walk on the beach? It wouldn't surprise me if each of you came up with a different answer. Of course there are no right or wrong answers here. There is however a surprising biblical answer.

Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance (James 1:2-3). Calling the testing of our faith pure joy is kind of weird, I mean... I would never come up with that. But the Bible says that's the way we should look at the trials in our life. Well, let me put it this way, the trials are not necessarily pure joy, but the testing of our faith is, because it develops perseverance.

Why is it so important to have perseverance? Listen to what the next verse says, Perseverance must finish it work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Now we're talking! I love this verse because it tells me that the development of perseverance in my life must finish its work; in other words, there is an end to every test of faith, thank God! And then there is the answer to my 'why do we need perseverance' question; so that:
  • you may be mature
  • and complete,
  • not lacking anything
When looking at that kind of end result, the testing of our faith should be pure joy indeed!

The maturity mentioned here is the Greek word teleios, which stands for: a right relationship with God that bears fruit in a sincere endeavor to love Him with all one's heart in undivided devotion, obedience and blamelessness.
The completeness mentioned here is further explained in James 2:22, faith and actions working together makes our faith complete!
Not lacking anything is a Biblical promise for believers, Psalm 34:9 says Fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him lack nothing!

The testing of our faith through trial and error is nothing more than the development of perseverance which will make us mature, complete, lacking nothing! Is that pure joy, or what?

19 comments:

  1. This IS a difficult concept to grasp, isn't it? I think you're right, that staying focused on the end product, being mature, complete and lacking nothing - is the key! Thanks for your insight, Marja! God bless!

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  2. This is a hard one to swallow but God always knows best and if I let Him, that pure joy will be mine! :O)

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  3. I'm glad God takes what the enemy means for evil and turns it around for our good.

    I like the scripture that says every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father above. I also like the one telling us God tempts no one with evil.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  4. I can relate to that Maria, it IS a difficult concept to grasp, simply, because it is not the way we think. Trials and joy seem contradictions, yet the Bible brings 'm together for the good!

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  5. Diane, hard to swallow indeed, it never feels like joy to me, but form this passage I KNOW that perseverance is being developed in me, and THAT gives me joy!

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  6. Thanks for your comment Susan, always an encouragement and great addition to my posts! Blessings.

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  7. Marja:
    For most of my Christian walk, I read the first part of verse two and groaned. One day I heard a former pastor read the section and the 'rest of the story' caught my attention. In order to learn from our trials we have to not read anything else into them or take things as they come. It has helped me to do that.

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  8. It is, and I am thankful He has made a way for us to get there. :)

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  9. A good reminder to . . . consider it joy.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  10. Quietspirit, that happened to me too! Reading the first part of the scripture and then stopping... thinking it would be too hard to be joyful in trials, but reading the rest of that scripture makes all the difference!

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  11. Karen and Glenda, thanks for popping in and leaving your comments. I appreciate your time and kindness.

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  12. Hi Marja - I've just come from Lisa Buffalo's blog and she speaks of joy. I really love how you've broken this scripture down. Each trial is to make us a better more complete person in Christ - the fact that He bothers with us, should bring us great joy.
    Its all about perspective.
    Great post as always - I'm sending a link to this post to Lisa because I think you guys would enjoy each other's blogs
    God bless
    Tracy
    Her's is: http://lisabuffaloe.blogspot.com/

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  13. Thanks Traci, I have added Lisa's blog to my blog roll. I have 'known' her for years, I think through Shoutlife... can't remember. She has a great blog, thanks for connecting us here!

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  14. Hi Marja!
    I guess I have a love/hate relationship with that verse. Who wants the trials? But they are useful tools in God's hands. I'm sure if the wood could talk, it was hate the file and the hammer, but in the hands of the Master Carpenter, it is made into a useful object.
    The Phillips translation says "Welcome your trials as friends." Yet we consider them enemies.
    Hmmm I think I may have a blogpost brewing now! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Blessings,
    Susan

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  15. Hey Susan, thanks for adding your thoughts. I'll be waiting for your blog post :)

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  16. Boy, have I a long way to go! Joy is not the word that comes to mind when I am in a trial!
    I like the word 'Finish'and I hope to make it to the finish line one day. Maturity is somethig that I am not familiar with. It never came with old age that I do know.
    Thanks for giving me a heads up Marja! Love you!!

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  17. Thanks for your input Wyn, our reality is indeed often different than the truth of this verse, we don't feel joy at all when in a trial... that's why there is a promise! So that we may be mature, lacking nothing. Looking forward to that :)

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  18. Anonymous9:50 AM

    Thank you, Marja, great reminder. I would say; however, that the joy is not in the testing but in the results that the testing is accomplishing--becoming more like Christ.

    Love your blog. I look forward to visiting.
    Much love,
    Marcia

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  19. Thank you Marcia, for stopping by and leaving your comments, I value every word.

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Thanks for your visit, it is my hope and prayer that this post was an encouragement to you! Feel free to leave a comment.